Privacy Concerns Rise as Military Suicide Prevention Efforts Increase
Civilian experts on medical records restrictions are raising concerns that the Army’s tactics for preventing military suicides may be too invasive. The Army is increasing its efforts to reduce military suicides even to the extent of sharing soldiers’ personal therapy information with company, platoon and squad leaders. Many of the soldiers whose information is being shared show no threat of self-harm.
Experts suggest that this is extremely discouraging to soldiers wanting to seek help for fear of having their privacy violated.
Army representatives claim that their efforts are purely in the best regard for their soldiers’ mental health. One Army lawyer suggests, “The more information, the better […] to evaluate and analyze and try to come up with a solution.”
Army suicide numbers have risen drastically in recent years, nearly doubling the number in 2004, although falling slightly in recent months. Army officials stand by their means for suicide reduction and hope that suicide rates continue to fall, although controversy over the newly implemented strategy continues to rise.
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